Talking Books Talk

Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

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Aug 22

YA Reads: Thrill of the Investigation

Posted on August 22, 2022 at 10:41 AM by Maggie Witte

Mysteries often top bestseller lists, alongside romance novels. What makes mysteries so compelling? Why do so many people read them? It’s in the nature of humans to be curious, searching to understand and make known the unknown. Sometimes, it’s the thrill of anticipation which catches and draws the reader into the story. For others, it’s the challenge and joy of solving complexing puzzles. Mysteries abound all around, creating a diverse selection of books full of them. They can be blended with other genres providing a mystery for everyone.

Discover your mystery with one of the books we’ve highlighted in this list, or search our online catalog to find other mysteries you might enjoy.

Two faces looking at each other shaped like butterfly wings over a fire in a tribal art style.

DB 102762 Firekeeper’s daughter by Angeline Boulley

Daunis, who is part Ojibwe, defers attending the University of Michigan to care for her mother. When Daunis witnesses a shocking murder, she reluctantly agrees to go undercover, drawing on her knowledge of chemistry and Ojibwe traditional medicine to track down the source of a new drug. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.

Graph paper with pins and strings going from different pins on top of title written on paper.

DB 98616 A good girl’s guide to murder by Holly Jackson

As her senior capstone project, Pippa Fitz-Amobi is determined to find the real killer in a closed, local murder case, but not everyone wants her meddling in the past. Strong language. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.

Rose bloom shattered into large and small pieces with an intact thorny stem, laying on ground.

DB 107933 The fear by Natasha Preston

Somebody in the town of Rock Bay has posted a "share this post and your own deepest death fear" meme, and it seems that everybody but Izzy has shared the creepy graphic. Nobody knows who posted it, but soon people start dying. Izzy is determined to investigate, but what she uncovers is her own worst nightmare. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2022.

Embroidered rose nad baby's breath splintering out from red and blue into white thread.

DB107058 Splinters of scarlet by Emily Bain Murphy

In nineteenth-century Copenhagen, an orphaned seamstress goes to work for a retired ballerina, and uses her magic to investigate her father's mysterious death while working for the same family years ago. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.

Girl and boy sitting on beach at sunset with torn pieces of paper scattered over top of faded words

DB 106600 The summer of lost letters by Hannah Reynolds

The discovery of a packet of old letters sends seventeen-year-old Abby Schoenberg to Nantucket to unravel a family mystery about her grandmother's past. But things get complicated when Abby meets the cute grandson of a prominent family who wants to stop her from investigating. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.

One girl holds a phone taking a selfie of herself and two girls, smiling and making peace signs.

DB 105469 You’re so dead by Ash Parsons

Plum Winter and her two best friends sneak into an influencers-only festival event on a private island in the Caribbean, only to discover that a killer is in their midst. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2021.

Staticky mobile device screens with title and author, Times Square, boy running, and a swan.

DB 96377 Swipe right for murder by Derek Milman

Alone in a posh New York City hotel room, teenager Aidan tries to hook up with someone new. But that lapse in judgment leads to him waking up next to a dead guy. And now he's on the run. Some descriptions of sex, strong language, violence. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.

Illustration of a boy with white flames in his hands and coming off his shouldesr and head.

DB 96003 Patron saints of nothing by Randy Ribay

When seventeen-year-old Jay learns his Filipino cousin and former best friend, Jun, was murdered as part of President Duterte's war on drugs, he flies to the Philippines to learn more. Unrated. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2019.

Entrance to watery cave shaped like a head with cloudy white and gray sky in the opening and water.

DB 95445 Keep this to yourself by Tom Ryan

After high school graduation, Mac focuses on finding the serial killer who murdered his best friend the previous summer. But he is still working through his own feelings for the deceased. Strong language. For senior high and older readers. 2019.

Illustration of girl sitting at a cafe table with papers blowing away with notes and images on them.

DB 99829 Mad, bad, & dangerous to know by Samira Ahmed

Paris. Told in alternating narratives that bridge centuries, budding art historian Khayyam begins to connect allusions to an enigmatic Muslim woman whose path may have intersected with Alexandre Dumas, Euge`ne Delacroix, and Lord Byron. Strong language and some descriptions of sex. Commercial audiobook. For senior high and older readers. 2020.